Ocean Career: MBARI Marine Operations and Vessel Compliance Assistant

Founded in 1987 by the late David Packard, MBARI is a nonprofit oceanographic research center advancing marine science and engineering to understand our changing ocean. Located in Moss Landing, California, the heart of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, MBARI offers ready access to the open ocean and deep sea. Ongoing research programs range across autonomous and remotely operated underwater vehicle systems, control technologies, ocean physics, chemistry, geology, biology, ocean instrumentation, and information management. MBARI hosts approximately 200 employees, with shore facilities that include state-of-the-art science and engineering laboratories, manufacturing and electrical fabrication shops, and dock facilities for MBARI vessels.

MBARI’s Department of Marine Operations is looking for an Operations and Vessel Compliance Assistant to support diverse activities surrounding our core marine operations. This role reports to the Divisional Director. It is uniquely situated to directly connect to MBARI shipboard operations, autonomous platform operations, and various support staff.

To be successful in the role, the candidate will need to be able to handle many tasks at once and develop a task prioritization strategy as well as work collaboratively with others. After an initial training and familiarization period, the Compliance Assistant will benefit from being investigative and have a critical thinking demeanor to partner with the team to get things done!

This role demands in-person office attendance as it directly supports active operations and requires working closely in a collaborative manner with others.

Primary responsibilities:

  • Maintain physical/digital files of personnel records
  • Editing and maintenance of various division documents, including memorandums, presentations, and training materials
  • Administration of learning management systems such as MOXIE Media
  • Assist with data entry of the divisional budget into various accounting systems
  • Active participation in shoreside and vessel 3rd party compliance audits for the safety management system
  • Management of divisional calendars on the Zimbra email system and outlook systems
  • Verification of ship’s crew USCG merchant mariner credentials (MMC) via the USCG homeport webpage
  • Support the organizational, divisional events, and meetings such as staff meetings, interviews, and MBARI’s open house
  • Serve as system administrator for various divisional systems, including the Webpage and Visitor Release Work Flow
  • Submit several compliance reports to external agencies such as CARB/ EPA annual hours reports, Ballast Water Management reports, VGP/VIDA annual submissions
  • Manage high volume of vessel operations vendor invoices (20+ per week), coordinating review & approval by responsible manager, reconcile as needed, researching proper coding with accountants and facilitate timely submission/payment by AP
  • Maintain electronic archives for incoming vessel management reports
  • Oversee budget and procurement for office supplies in vessel operations and offshore labor relations
  • Responsible for preparing department expense reports as required
  • Responsible for reviewing and editing high level documents and presentations for senior leadership, requires excellent attention to detail
  • Requires high level of professionalism, organization and customer service skills
  • Other duties as assigned by Management

Technical requirements/competencies:

  • Advanced Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, PDF Architect software skills
  • Must fully learn and manage HELM Connect, MBARI’s maintenance management System
  • Basic understanding of Project management software
  • Web site management skills

Required qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience required. BA in Business Administration with Maritime background or logistics is preferred
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Tactful, diplomatic communication skills with peers and supervisors, as well as government agencies, vessel crew and union representatives
  • Experience ordering and maintaining general office equipment
  • Ability to multi-task/triage incoming projects from several sources with a myriad of deadlines
  • Must be able to perform all assignments with little to no supervision
  • Transportation Identification Workers Card (TWIC) required, or if not in possession, it must be obtained within ninety days
  • Must satisfactorily complete MBARI background check prior to employment
  • Must possess CA driver’s license and drive MBARI vehicles as needed
  • Must have US Passport or willing to obtain within ninety days of employment
  • Must be able to complete training in specific marine/vessel operations areas as required
  • Ability for to spend limited time at sea to learn MBARI specific marine operations workflows
  • May be required to travel

Salary range: $80,000-$100,000/year

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

Our Partners

Frontiers in Marine Science

ECO Magazine is a marine science trade publication committed to bringing scientists and professionals the latest ground-breaking research, industry news, and job opportunities from around the world.


8502 SW Kansas Ave
Stuart, FL 34997


Newsletter Signup

The ECO Newsletter is a weekly email featuring the Top 10 stories of the past seven days, providing readers with a convenient way to stay abreast on the latest ocean science and industry news.